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HOW TO SERVICE YOUR CUSTOMER
(BUT DON’T FORGET YOUR COAT)

It's 3:30 a.m. on a cold January evening as Dave Hansen of RGS parts heads for the runway of the Fort Dodge, IA airport. He is scheduled to meet an airplane carrying Rotor Clip hose clamps that are needed by a nearby customer to keep their lines running. It seems their overseas supplier shipped incorrect parts, and to make matters worse, was not able to offer any alternative suggestion to keep the line running.

Dave rushes from the car to the point where the plane will soon be taxiing so that he can load his car with the parts and head up to the plant in Webster City, IA. Dave is a veteran of customer emergencies, so he knows how critical it is to keep a line running. He stands there confident that he has remembered everything he will need for the trip, until he is about to put his hands in his pockets to warm them from the cold. At that moment Dave realizes that he has forgotten his coat in the car.

A few hours earlier around 7p.m. (EST), Jerry Keefe, president of RGS parts was on the phone with Craig Slass, VP of sales for Rotor Clamp/Rotor Clip Company. Jerry explained how this customer, a major OEM in his territory, had received an incorrect overseas shipment of hose clamps. "They're in a panic," Jerry said. "It looks like a lines down situation."

Jerry and Craig didn't waste a minute. They conferenced Rob Grinthal, Rotor Clip's Chief Engineer, with the customer's counter part. Working together and utilizing the Rotor Clip web site, they were able to determine the material and specifications needed for an appropriate replacement part. They settled on a single wire (HC) clamp. The challenge now was to get the parts from Rotor Clip in Somerset, New Jersey, to the customer's site in Webster, City, IA by 6:30a.m. the next morning. Craig phoned the plant manager, Jeff Van Arsdale. Working with the night shift already on duty at Rotor Clip, they processed the parts and got them to a local airport in time to meet a chartered plane sent by the customer. Jeff checked his watch; it was 11:45p.m. when the plane took off for Fort Dodge, IA. In the meantime, Jerry contacted his rep, Dave Hansen, who returned from his daughters basketball game at 9:30 and had to drive 3 ½ hours to get to the Fort Dodge airport. The plane landed at 3:13 AM.

When Dave reached the plant at 4:15 AM, he assisted the customer with cycle tests and installation issues. Since the part had to be installed in a tight area, the customer was having trouble making it work. But Dave stuck with it and by 5a.m. helped the customer team solve the application issue. When the shift showed up at 6:30a.m., Dave was there to help the workers adjust to the new part so that the line would keep running. Thanks to Rotor Clip's response, over 200 employees were able to complete the day's production. Without the Rotor Clamp hose clamps, they would have been sent home at enormous cost to the customer. "Dave just left," the customer reported to Craig Slass and Jerry Keefe later that morning. "Thanks for all your efforts." But Craig and Jerry didn't stop there. Having become familiar with the application, they saw a way to do the job more efficiently and at a lower cost. The Rotor Clip engineers designed a new clamp and, the very next day, sent prototype parts to the customer for review and testing.

"Nice work," Craig told Jerry and Dave. "But next time, Dave, don't forget your coat.”

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